23 governments responsible for over 90% of global public investment in clean energy innovation have committed to greater action to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible to all this decade. The Clean Hydrogen Mission, a new initiative by the Mission Innovation coalition, will unleash the global clean hydrogen economy by reducing the costs of clean hydrogen to the end user to 2 dollar per kilogram by 2030 and helping to deliver at least 100 large-scale integrated hydrogen valleys worldwide.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Orkney this week in pursuit of solutions for tackling climate change and supporting the UK’s green economic recovery. Their Royal Highnesses visited the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal test facility, and met with EMEC’s managing director, Neil Kermode, to hear about the test centre’s role in developing an ocean energy industry and with pioneering green hydrogen deployments including the FCH JU supported BIG HIT project.
The royal couple visited Kirkwall harbour to see EMEC’s hydrogen fuel cell, supplied by SHFCA member Proton Motor of Germany, which is designed to provide up to 75kW of clean power to vessels berthed at Kirkwall Pier. This fuel cell using green hydrogen allows ship engines to be switched off when in harbour, reducing noise and air pollution as well as achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The Scottish Port of Cromarty Firth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norwegian firm Gen2 Energy AS to create a commercial pathway to import green hydrogen from Norway into the UK energy market.
The partnership will provide a security of supply for the Cromarty Firth’s own plans for a large scale electrolyser facility, and will guarantee green hydrogen to those who want access to the clean energy by mid-2023, so they have the confidence to make concrete plans to begin switching their infrastructure. The MoU is a massive boost in the bid to establish a green hydrogen hub in the Cromarty Firth, adding a new international angle to its aim to produce, store and supply hydrogen to the Highland region, other parts of Scotland, the UK and Europe.
SHFCA member Port of Cromarty Firth (POCF) has launched a bold new programme to build a Highlands green hydrogen economy. This multi-partner plan involves the Port of Cromarty Firth together with SHFCA members ScottishPower and Pale Blue Dot, as well as other partners including Scotch whisky producers Glenmorangie, Whyte and Mackay and Diageo.
This new green hydrogen hub in the Highlands will see Scotland leading the way for the integration and deployment of hydrogen technology and decarbonisation of local industry. The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme aims to develop a state-of-the-art hub in the Cromarty Firth to produce, store and distribute hydrogen to the region, Scotland, other parts of the UK and Europe.
Skills and safety are often mentioned as mission critical for the development of a hydrogen economy, and Orkney is again ahead of the curve. The very first cohort of seafarers to be trained to work on hydrogen powered vessels have now been put through their paces on a new course in Orkney, a key milestone of the HyDIME project.
This new course, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, was developed and delivered in Orkney by Orkney College UHI’s Maritime Studies department in collaboration with Orkney Ferries and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The new GREEN HYSLAND project was officially launched last week. This will help to restart economic growth and bring new skilled jobs to Majorca, building on lessons learned from previous FCH JU projects including BIG HIT in Orkney and HEAVENN in the Northern Netherlands. The project consortium, led by Enagás, features 30 public and private partners from 9 EU countries as well as Chile and Morocco, including several partners from the BIG HIT project in Orkney.
Eneus Energy has gained planning consent for its proposed green hydrogen/ammonia plant in Orkney, Scotland, putting the company on track to deliver the first commercial plant of its kind in the UK. The development, along with the proposed wind turbines extension at Hammars Hill, was approved by the Orkney Council Planning Committee at a meeting on 20th January 2021. This expansion of the existing wind farm together with the ammonia plant is an innovative example of a local ‘Power-to-X’ transformational project required to help establish a green hydrogen economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and deliver net zero.
The Orkney Islands are creating the UK's first operationally-based, low-carbon aviation test centre at HIAL’s Kirkwall Airport in the Orkney Islands. Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) has embarked on a £3.7 million project to develop a sustainable aviation programme that could transform short flight travel between remote communities. Different types of low-carbon aircraft, including hydrogen fuel cell aircraft, will be tested to identify the next generation of air services as well as the operational airport infrastructure necessary to support sustainable aviation. Addressing the challenge to improve UK regional air connectivity and helping to decarbonise the Highlands and Islands region, the innovative project will stimulate job creation and use local renewable energy, supporting Orkney’s net zero ambitions.
Producers in one of Scotland’s most iconic industries will be playing their part in reducing carbon emissions, with 17 distilleries across the UK today receiving the first phase of £10 million government funding to go green. Eleven distilleries across Scotland, including Highland Park and the Orkney Distillery in Kirkwall, will be able to kick-start green innovations thanks to the government backing, helping them harness energy sources such as low-carbon hydrogen to power their operations. These 17 Green Distilleries feasibility studies were selected from a very large number of applications. 10 of the studies involve hydrogen, Slanj!
The Scottish Government has today published a Roadmap to world-leading climate change targets, with more than 100 new policies and proposals to support Scotland’s green recovery and help deliver a just transition to Net Zero. The Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032 has been updated to reflect the world’s most ambitious framework of climate targets. This update will build on the outputs of the Hydrogen Assessment project, with the publication of a Hydrogen Policy statement this month, and then a Hydrogen Action Plan in 2021. The potential scale of the economic opportunity for Scotland from the production of hydrogen has been calculated, and gross impacts by 2045 across three scenarios modelled range from 70,000 to over 300,000 jobs protected or created and GVA impacts of between £5 billion and £25 billion.
The new Hydrogen Territories Platform was launched on 23 September 2020. The HTP will help to identify local replication opportunities for the development, deployment, and exploitation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for integrated local energy systems.
This Hydrogen Territories Platform (HTP) was developed within the FCH-JU funded BIG HIT project to support replication of the local energy systems model. The HTP will provide information and modelling tools to support and inform the wider development and replication of this model to other islands and isolated territories. The new HTP website is now live: http://h2territory.eu/
The European Commission has released their plans for the integrated energy system of the future with clean hydrogen. This new approach to Powering a Climate-neutral Economy sets out an integrated energy system using hydrogen to support the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings across Europe. The international dimension is an integral part of the EU approach.
Clean hydrogen offers new opportunities for re-designing Europe’s energy partnerships with both neighbouring countries and regions, together with its international, regional and bilateral partners, advancing supply diversification and helping design stable and secure supply chains. The EU Hydrogen Strategy addresses how to transform this potential into reality, through investments, regulation, market creation and research and innovation.
The steady rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continues unabated. 0n 4th June 2020 scientists from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced that the seasonal peak has reached 417 parts per million CO2. The atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory reached a seasonal peak of 417.1 parts per million in May 2020, the highest monthly reading ever recorded and are now at levels not experienced by the Earth’s atmosphere in several million years.
The postponed COP26 UN climate conference will now take place in Glasgow from Monday 1st to Friday 12th November 2021. The Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) have now agreed the new dates for the COP26 UN climate conference which will be held at the SEC in Glasgow.
In the run up to November 2021, the UK as hosts will continue to work with all involved to increase climate action, build resilience and lower emissions. The new date will also allow the UK and our Italian partners to harness their incoming G7 and G20 presidencies in driving climate ambition.
The Orkney Islands have just been awarded €100,000 in the first ever EU RESPonsible Island Prize, funded by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Orkney was awarded third prize due to percentage of renewable electricity produced by innovative energy technologies locally, environmental and socioeconomic sustainability, community involvement, and the replicability of the Orkney approach. Since 2013, Orkney has generated over 100% of its electricity demand from renewable power sources. Orkney has recently been addressing decarbonisation of the whole energy system through innovative scale-up projects such as the FCH JU funded BIG HIT project.
The Hydrogen Valley Platform is a Global Information Sharing Platform, developed by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking to support the Mission Innovation IC8 Member States.
Its objective is to promote the emergence and implementation of hydrogen flagship projects (“hydrogen valleys”) and raise awareness among policy makers, thus advancing the clean energy transition.
The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 - The Year of the Gigawatt has just been released, which offers data, analysis and commentary on key events in the global fuel cell industry during 2019.
Now in its sixth year, this free to access Review has been compiled by a team led by SHFCA member E4tech, a specialist energy strategy consultancy with deep expertise in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector. The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 is based on direct contact, either verbally or in writing, with over 100 companies globally.
The 2018 FCH JU Programme Review Report is now available. This report was prepared by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and reviews the activities supported by the FCH 2 JU. It identifies the added value, effectiveness and techno-economic efficiency of FCH 2 JU projects. BIG HIT was the first overarching FCH JU project covering both Energy and Transport. The field experience generated by BIG HIT with a hydrogen energy system in a remote and harsh environment will also be shared with other ‘Hydrogen Valley’ and similar local energy projects producing and using green hydrogen.
The FCH JU will be hosting the second edition of its Awards in Brussels on Weds 20th November, the evening before the FCH JU Stakeholder Forum. This is free to attend, but prior registration is required. Please register here for FCH JU Program Review Days, Awards, and Stakeholder Forum before Tuesday 12th November.
Voting is also now open for your favourite hydrogen & fuel cell success story and innovation:
Orkney is back in the spotlight with the announcement of the £5.3 million HyFlyer project which includes BIGHIT partner EMEC and will culminate in the demonstration of a zero-emission flight out of Orkney.
HyFlyer will progress the decarbonisation of medium range small passenger aircraft by demonstrating powertrain technology, replacing conventional piston engines in propeller aircraft.
This project will demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology for aviation.